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US scrambles to prevent Israel-Hezbollah war 

June 13, 2024 at 1:44 pm

Smoke and flame rise after Hezbollah carried out one of the largest missile attacks on Safed city, northern Israel on 12 June, 2024 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

The administration of US President Joe Biden has grown increasingly alarmed about the potential for an all-out war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon, as violence between the two has escalated in recent days. US officials are said to be working tirelessly to prevent such a conflict, which they fear could exacerbate the ongoing regional crisis dramatically and draw the US deeper into the fray, with American soldiers once again being asked to sacrifice their lives in a war that is not in Washington’s interest.

According to Axios, the Biden administration has cautioned Israel against the idea of a “limited war” in Lebanon, warning that Iran could intervene and flood the country with pro-Iranian militants from Syria, Iraq and even Yemen, who would be eager to join the fight. The US is concerned that Israel may rush into a war with Hezbollah or be dragged into one without a clear strategy or full consideration of the wider implications of such a conflict, a fear that has been fuelled by Tel-Aviv’s military onslaught on Gaza since 7 October which many say is driven more by vengeance than any clear strategic aim.

Behind the scenes, US officials are working to contain the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah while striving simultaneously to secure a hostage-ceasefire deal in Gaza, where more than 37,000 Palestinians have been killed by the apartheid state, most of them children and women. The White House believes that a ceasefire in Gaza is the only thing that would significantly de-escalate tensions on the Israeli-Lebanese border.

The situation escalated on Tuesday when Israel violated Lebanese sovereignty with an illegal air strike that killed Taleb Sami Abdullah, a senior Hezbollah commander, and three of his aides in the town of Jwaya, near the border. Abdullah’s death dealt a significant blow to the militia, and Hezbollah has vowed to ramp up its attacks against Israel in both number and severity.

Experts warn that if a full-scale war were to break out between Israel and Hezbollah, the Lebanese group’s formidable firepower and the support of its allies in the region could pose an existential threat to the rogue, occupation state. Hezbollah’s arsenal of rockets and missiles, combined with the potential influx of pro-Iranian fighters, could overwhelm Israel’s defences and cause unprecedented damage to its cities and infrastructure.

Earlier this month, the Chief of Staff of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), Herzi Halevi, stated that Israel was edging towards war with Hezbollah. The clamour for war within Israel is growing. Far-right Israeli ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir have been vocal in their calls for increased military action against the Lebanese militia, which was founded in 1982 to resist Israel’s occupation of southern Lebanon. Hezbollah and Hamas both emerged in response to Israel’s brutal military occupations of their respective countries.

READ: FM: Iran will not allow Israel to achieve its goal in Lebanon